Senate moving to vote on Hagel - kotanow.com- Scottsbluff Area News, Sports, and Weather

Senate moving to vote on Hagel

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The former Republican senator from Nebraska is on track to win confirmation after a protracted political fight.

A deeply divided Senate is moving toward a vote as early as today on President Barack Obama's contentious choice of Chuck Hagel to head the Defense Department.

Nearly two weeks after Republicans stalled the nomination, the Senate is slated to vote today on proceeding with the Hagel selection. GOP lawmakers signaled late Monday they would end their delaying tactics.

If Hagel gets the necessary votes, it would just be a matter of time for a simple up-or-down vote, although Republicans could insist on the maximum 30 hours of debate before a final vote.

If confirmed, Hagel would succeed Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and join Obama's retooled national security team just days before automatic, across-the-board budget cuts hit the Pentagon.

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